History: Christian/ Future Of Catholic Education term paper 13426

History: Christian term papers
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The Future of Catholic Education

“Life is What Happens to You When You’re Making Other Plans”

John Lennon

In today’s educational system, we are encountering a massive shift in many issues. One major issue deals with Catholic education and what the future holds for it. In the context of education there is a massive change in the context of education which are causing huge structural changes. We are living in a time where our children need more and more Catholic based teaching along with values, morals, and problem solving skills. Catholic education is more and more important but it is also less and less practical to teach. If it is not in the specific curriculum, then it is perceived as not being important. Many schools in Ontario have conflicting philosophies with the conflict of skills versus values. More and more is added to the curriculum with the length of the day and the year staying the same. We are trying to keep pace with other countries and thus are losing out in the values and Catholic education area. With this, we have a large implication for teachers in that we have an increased pressure and increased expectations upon teachers and schools to teach what is tested in province-wide grade level tests.

Many critics of Catholic education are saying that they want their own school system and the Ministry of Education must thus support them. The Catholic Church is finding itself in a time of turmoil. Gone are the days when priests staffed every parish, sacramental theology made sense to most laity, and an abundance of nuns educated and formed 5 million parochial school students (in the U.S alone). Twenty years ago, Catholic schools enjoyed the low-cost, labor-intensive dedication of priests and nuns. Since then, the number of people entering the church (priests and nuns) has greatly and significantly declined. Communities of women religious, who built and sustained the church’s infrastructure for decades, are also aging dramatically and face an uncertain future. Numbers and size alone do not guarantee the vitality or sanctity of a religious community, of course. Nor is the brick-and-mortar emphasis the ‘golden age’ of the Catholic parish, which extended roughly from 1920 to 1960, the norm for succeeding generations. Nonetheless, Catholics seek to share word, sacrament and Gods reign in justice with a s many people as possible, and therefore we ponder with dismay any signs of atrophy in our work. The elembe6nary and secondary school system serves approximately half the number of students it did in 1960, despite the greater presence lay teachers and administrators. Catholic hospitals and charities rely increasingly on professionals drawn from the secular world. Perhaps most disconcerting of all is the rapid increase in the ratio of parishioners to priests and nuns. The next five years is crunch time warns Father Eugene Hemrick, who is the director of research for the National conference of Catholic Bishops. “unless we address the personnel crisis effectively, we will lose our best chance to influence the direction of change”.

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